7 Ways to Take Your B2B Marketing Mobile

Plan for Mobile MarketingWithin the last few years, the use of mobile technology in the workplace has risen dramatically. In the B2B space, professionals accessing business information and content on smartphones and tablets is impacting business operations, workflow, communications and marketing.

B2B mobile marketing spending will quadruple over the next five years, rising from $26 million in 2009 to $106 million in 2014, according to Forrester Research.

So how should your business plan for the impact of mobile on B2B marketing?

1. Provide mobile-friendly marketing content
Optimization of your web site, emails, blog and other marketing content for mobile devices should be a top priority for your development team. Don’t simply re-purpose existing content. Design and create specifically for the mobile environment.

2. Consider mobile users when creating content
As the use of mobile increases, short form marketing content may generate more impact than long form content. Blog posts and short videos may provide more long-term B2B marketing value than not-so-mobile-friendly content like whitepapers and webinars.

3. Centralize content
You may need to re-consider the source of your business marketing content. Instead of publishing it in a specific channel, you may want to put it in a central location (web site, database, etc.) and then point your channels to that content or broadcast it from that content source. That way you can announce or display the content in your various marketing channels such as email campaigns, social networks, mobile apps, blogs, text messages, etc. Recipients will either access the content directly or pull it through the interface or channel of their choice.

4. Choose mobile-friendly technologies
When creating content, consider the channel or service you’ll be using and determine if it’ll work well in the mobile environment. Certain tools and services will work better for videos, animations, blogs, etc.

5. Mobile app vs. mobile site
With the abundance of apps proliferating the app stores, many marketers are considering if the time and expense of creating apps is worth the effort. Can a mobile site offer a better experience and broader reach? Is there additional branding and marketing value in having an app available in an app store? Consider the short term and long term value of both options to see which may be a better fit for your intended audience.

6. Review your analytics
Understand if mobile is impacting your marketing and make decisions based on analytics. Make sure you are set up to be able to determine the mobile audience for your web site, blogs, email campaigns and social channels wherever it is possible to do so. Use that information to make the decision on the importance of preparing a mobile strategy for that channel.

7. Test emerging marketing strategies
Because many businesses are still determining the potential of mobile marketing, testing and refining their mobile marketing process and choices are an ongoing process. But by doing so, marketers will identify the mobile opportunities that will create business value. Testing now can lead to significant long term mobile marketing success.

If you remember to keep your target in mind and consider the impact of mobile marketing on near and long term goals, you’ll likely find a way to use mobile to create value for your customer and your business.

For more great B2B mobile information, be sure to check our our previous post The B2B Mobile Revolution is Here and download The Mobile Revolution & B2B (PDF) by CK.

Mobile Sites for B2B BlackBerry Users

In previous posts, I explored BlackBerry apps that help B2B marketers, B2B public relations professionals and B2B sales teams better communicate, travel, organize and share information. However, when it comes to the default smartphone many businesspeople are required to use, taking the time to research, find and download useful apps can often be more trouble than they are worth.

Mobile websites designed to work within the confines of a smartphone’s small screen, limited navigation and slower Internet speeds can often be a handy work-around for BlackBerry users frustrated with the phone’s limited selection of apps compared to the iPhone and Droid app stores.

Mobile web usage is expected to overtake desktop usage by 2015, and companies are beginning to make sure their websites provide a comparable experience. B2B BlackBerry users can leverage mobile sites to better utilize their phones’ browsers, with or without a huge selection of apps.

Here are some mobile sites that make the BlackBerry’s lack of apps a little easier to swallow:

1. Video

Of all of the mobile YouTube options that Google offers, the mobile site (m.youtube.com) is the only version that works on BlackBerry. On my BlackBerry Curve, videos open in the BlackBerry media player and can be viewed “full screen,” which doesn’t actually take up the entire screen but still loads at a decent rate. Visitors can search and upload videos as well.

Google has said its mobile versions of YouTube will receive more frequent updates and improvements than its YouTube apps. This challenge to app-based phone models (namely Apple) could be the beginning of a trend that leads to a bigger focus on mobile site features and usability.

2. Travel

On a BlackBerry, mobile sites for airlines such as Southwest (m.southwest.com), American Airlines (m.aa.com) and Delta (mobile.delta.com) allow passengers to modify flights and rental cars, check in at airports and view their flights’ statuses. Hotels.com (m.hotels.com) and Traffic.com (mobi.traffic.com) also provide travelers with mobile versions of their websites.

3. Business news

Almost all major news site now have mobile versions, including business publications. The Wall Street Journal (m.wsj.com), The New York Times’ Business Day (m.nyt.com/business) and Forbes Business (mobile.forbes.com) highlight business news important to B2B professionals in an easy-to-view format.

4. File sharing

While the Dropbox BlackBerry app’s official launch date is still TBD, the file sharing service’s mobile site offers users a clean, simple interface to share documents, photos, videos and more across multiple platforms. Dropbox users can browse files in their accounts, as well as download and view.

Which mobile sites do you have bookedmarked in your BlackBerry browser? How do they compare to the apps on your phone?